I thought I heard you. Heard your voice. I turn around. The dock around me is deserted, the people have all gone in to drier places. The rain falls, around and on me. Constant, unrelenting rain. I stand there, unsure. I glance around. I truly am alone. The light shines from a solitary lamp post, illuminating individual drops of rain as they pass through the beams of yellow radiating forth. The rain beads and bounces on the dock, on the foot- and weather-worn wood beneath and around me. The rain collects in small puddles, collects in small pools on the worn wooden railing. I place a hand upon the railing and push the water off over the edge, but more soon replaces it. I gaze out in front of me, where an ocean lies no more than a drop and a splash away. I can see nothing but rain-filled darkness. Even the ocean's waves are drowned out by the plodding drown of the rain. The ceaseless rain. I lean forward on the rail, clutching it with both hands, leaning over to hear the ocean. There, just faintly, a wave breaks against the unseen columns supproting the dock where I stand. I stand there, listening, letting the rain fall upon me - I don't want to go inside, not yet. There's a reason why I'm out here - some unknown urge that drives me. A tear slips down my cheek - a tear? Just a raindrop, I'm sure... but no. A tear. And another. Washed down my face by the continuous rain, and into the dark and salty sea. Tears. But for whom? I lay my head down upon my arms on the railing there, close my eyes, and just listen. I hear the waves and the persistent, soaking rain. And nothing else. Nothing? A noise, to my left. My eyes flutter open - occupying the rail next to me, a sea bird, wet and weary, strikingly white in this rain-darkened place. I stare at him, and he considers me with one eye. He glances back over his shoulder at the stormy, near-black sea from which he came - or so I assume. Then, without warning, launches himself forward, gliding, flapping, soaring over the street light and off yet again into darkness. I watch for a long while, hoping this small winged friend graces me with another visit. But, alas, he proves no such return. And the rains till continues, never letting up, never increasing, the same steady fall, rythmic, soothing. A figure shuffles quickly beneath the lamplight - a phantom? No, my imagination. Wait, there again - a small mouse, scurrying through a puddle and quickly into a hole. Once again, desolate - I am alone with the rain. My mind suggests to seek shelter and dry clothes, but my heart holds me here. Why? There is nothing out here but rain and dock and waves. Why stay? Just wait. Just... wait. So I wait. For what... there is nothing. Discouragement looms, but then - I hear... what? I hear you? Impossible. No one here... I am here, but you... I turn and face the darkening ocean again and - a sound behind me. I whirl around - ...should I believe my eyes? Can I? You hold me against you. I can feel the warmth of your body, hear the beating of your heart. You hold me against you... my arms wrap tightly around you. My head resting against your chest, I feel safe. I have questions... but they are for later. Not now. Not while we're together. Savor the moment. You kiss me atop the head and hold me. We remain there for a long time, for an eternity it seems, you and I, just standing, listening to the endless rains.